Everything is horrible
except for these apples
and these lilacs. Except for
the open eyes of this doe
who died by the side of the road
not long ago, eyes that still look
darkly alive for the moment.
Everything is terrible
except for the wind
and the song I hear coming
from the house next door
that’s being sung by a woman
a cappella, in Spanish I think,
although the wind
is bending her syllables
and they could be in a tongue
I don’t understand
that is moving me to tears.
Everything is lost
except the memory
of how it’s always been like this
and there have still been apples
and lilacs, and
in death there has also been beauty,
and there have always been songs
to puzzle the ear and churn the air
regardless of horror and terror
and in spite of having no way
to translate happiness to all at once.
Nothing is minimized
by being startled into awareness
of what is possible
beyond the worst we can be and do.